Theocracy rules ok

The Catholic church has veto power over significant US legislation, to the point that Pelosi has to ask it for its approval in order to get a bill passed.

Now House leaders are not only negotiating with fellow lawmakers, but also with representatives from the bishops’ organization, Democratic sources said. “It’s come to this,” said one bewildered senior Democratic lawmaker, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations…Several Democrats, including Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pennsylvania, said they are in touch with their Catholic bishops back home. Altmire said he must have the approval of his bishop in Pittsburgh before he can vote yes.

The bishops got their way.

The provision would block the use of federal subsidies for insurance that covers elective abortions…Both sides credited a forceful lobbying effort by Roman Catholic bishops with the success of the provision, inserted in the bill under pressure from conservative Democrats…Beginning in late July, the bishops began issuing a series of increasingly stern letters to lawmakers making clear that they saw the abortion-financing issue as pre-eminent, a deal-breaker…Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, stole a private moment with Mr. Obama to deliver the same warning: The bishops very much wanted to support his health care overhaul but not if it provided for abortions…Bishops implored their priests and parishioners to call lawmakers. Conservative Democrats negotiating over the issue with party leaders often expressed their desire to meet the bishops’ criteria, according to many people involved in the talks. On Oct. 8 three members of the bishops conference wrote on its behalf to lawmakers, “If the final legislation does not meet our principles, we will have no choice but to oppose the bill.”

The bishops told Pelosi to jump, she asked how high.

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders came up against antiabortion members of their own party, who vowed to kill the healthcare bill unless the leadership accepted their uncompromising version of a ban on using federal funds for abortion…She conferred with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to be sure the new restrictions were acceptable. She even consulted by telephone with a cardinal in Rome.

And so on and so on and so on. The Catholic church has veto power over significant US legislation. The US is a partial theocracy. Very partial, to be sure, but any is too much. The stinking Catholic bishops should back off and mind their own stinking business.

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